Friday, March 5, 2010

Always dress for success

"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society." - Mark Twain

Now, M. Clemens no doubt meant the above in jest, but there is very much truth in it. No, this post isn't about dressing up for job interviews. Personally I don't dress up for interviews, so if this were a post about how to dress for job interviews, I would advise you to use my strategy: Wear whatever you normally wear. Obviously go for the less beat up clothes, but dress normally. Character is what's important!

But this isn't a post about dressing for interviews. However, my own opinions do somewhat overlap. Clothes are of course no definite indicator, but generally one can tell a lot about a person from their clothes. Someone wearing a bespoke suit as casual wear is likely to be a very different sort of person from the guy hanging out in corduroys and a jumper. And just like real people, clothes can tell a lot about a character. And in the case of things like mysteries and thrillers, clothes can be put to good use by the character as well.

So, for the sake of continuing Character Month while I'm still working on that interview with Croughbar (do not get me started; he's almost as bad an interviewee as Beckett), and because I have the just now aforementioned interview with Beckett scheduled for a little later, I reckon hey, why the hell not? Outfits of course vary from day to day, but I reckon I'll offer a sampling of the outfits worn by the two main characters -- that is, Daniel and Paul. I'll leave you to draw your own conclusions.

To generate a break, the song I am currently listening to:

Most plainclothes dress up a bit, whether in the real world or the realm of fiction. Look at shows like Law & Order or even at your local plainclothes department and you'll find just about everyone is dressed in smart casual or business casual unless the situation demands for more or less levels of dress. Daniel really couldn't give a toss and comes to work dressed much as he dresses otherwise. He does still dress up or down if a case calls for it, but otherwise he opts to take the term "plainclothes" a bit more literally than the rest of the department.

Jack Purcells are the shoes of choice for Daniel Cross. In fact, Danny boy only owns a pair of blue Jack Purcells and a pair of yellow-ish brown construction boots.

Daniel has a wide variety of tees and long sleeve shirts, but he was a huge lover of comic books in his youth, and although he no longer has his massive collection of comics, one can never totally kill the comic book geek inside. Danny's two favorite shirts are a Cap shirt and a Yellow Lantern Corps shirt. He does have some slightly dressier shirts -- a couple of pinstripe dress shirts that don't look too bad, but aren't necessarily what you'd expect (i.e. a muted purple shirt with black stripes).

When it comes to pants, Daniel pretty much only wears jeans. Slightly baggy, preferably of a darker shade, but so long as they fit, they're good enough. He does have some slightly warmer pants for when the weather is bitterly cold, but even then he's more likely to go with jeans over trousers. In warmer weather, he generally wears plaid shorts or cargo shorts.

Jackets are probably the place where Daniel has the most options, given that most of his shirts are just plain colors and he has repeats of most colors. His jacket of choice is a vintage bomber-style leather jacket he picked up from a thrift shop. It's seen its fair share of wear, both from the previous owner and from Daniel's constant wearing of it, but it holds up well and doesn't look too battered. He also owns a black overcoat, which I don't really know how to describe because I don't know the proper term for it. In the WIP, it is simply called "black overcoat". It's kind of like a pea coat, but not exactly, if that helps any. Lastly he owns two hoodies, both with zipper. One's black, one's deep purple. Amongst the non-leather options, the black hoodie gets worn most often.

Currently on the listen:

Paul dresses a bit more how you would expect a plainclothes to dress, but he's still not 100% normal. Probably the biggest place Beckett stands out is in terms of overcoat. Beckett owns quite a few, but his overcoat of choice is a duster. Pictured, in the most common setting, for those of you who don't know. What? It's not like people don't wear dusters any more. They're just not as common as they were back in the good ol' days, or at least back in the good ol' days according to Westerns. Aside from a duster, Paul owns a beige trench coat, a bridge coat (knee-length pea coat), a red windbreaker, and a couple of sport and suit coats.

Outfit-wise, like I said, Paul is a bit more how you would expect. From time to time he does dress casually, but usually only if he's called out on something during his downtime and has to leave ASAP. Otherwise, Paul is most likely wearing slacks and a dress shirt, usually without a tie. He occasionally adds a vest over the dress shirt, but that's about the only major variance in work outfit. As casual wear, Paul usually wears a polo shirt and jeans. However, he hardly dresses casually because he is either working to hell on a case or is expecting a call to come in at any minute, sending him off to the next vic.

Shoes are down to a couple of pairs of Oxford shoes for work, black running shoes as part of his casual wear, and a pair of black steel-toed boots, for either inclement weather or for kicking a criminal to hell. Sometimes both.

And now because I've been talking about coppers and I love the show so much:


  1. haha! Oh, the Sweeney, there's a program I have seen in ages...

    I love Daniel's style, and think the Jack Purcells happen to be brilliant! Really going into depth about your characters' clothing choices helps explore them really well. It's something I've yet to do properly, but your descriptions have inspired me to put that on my
    "to do" list of character studies.


  2. God I love the Sweeney. Best thing to come out of the 1970s by far.

    And yay for spreading the Character Month love! Looking forward to your stuffs.